Philippine Star, Feb. 18, 2006

Calamity-ravaged Aurora opens door
to commercial flights
By Manny Galvez

San Luis, Aurora - This remote, calamity-hit province welcomed the first commercial flight at the Dr. Juan C. Angara Airport yesterday noon.

The launching of a regular, twice-a-week flight is expected to boost the province's economy and spark a tourism boom and enable it it to break out from years of isolation, Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, said.

The inaugural flight was completed after the Czecho-slovak-made LET410 UVP-E aircraft of Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAir), a domestic airline company, touched down at the airport at 11:09 a.m.

Piloted by Jess Bihasa, the inaugural flight has 19 passengers on board including Sen. Edgardo J. Angara and Zeneida "Nini" Avancena, daughter of the late President Manuel Quezon. The airport runway is located in Barangay San Isidro, some seven kilometers from the capital town of Baler.

Angara-Castillo said the entry of commercial flights in Aurora is a landmark event for the province and would fit into its overall development plans.

"This will literally be a new dawn for us. Regular plane flights will bolster tourism, travel and trade and the benefits would accrue to the people of Aurora would be immense," she said.

The governor also said that the province is now breaking out from the long years of isolation and underdevelopment with giant strides the in economic front.

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